Former Basketball Coach Sues N.C. State Over Buyout

Brock Fritz Headshot

Mark Gottfried claims North Carolina State owes him at least $75,000 for not living up to the contract agreed upon when firing him in 2017.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the former N.C. State men’s basketball coach is suing the university for failing to make buyout payments. The nine-page lawsuit claims that, after agreeing to monthly payments, N.C. State hasn’t made any payments to Gottfried since Aug. 31, 2018.

In May 2018, N.C. State allegedly sent Gottfried a Notice of Intent to Discharge for Cause. The lawsuit claims N.C. State owes at least $75,000, with “the precise amount to be proven at trial.”

“The Notice stated that Coach Gottfried had ‘induced the university to enter into payment arrangements,’” the lawsuit claims, alleging the university told Gottfried there were no administrative remedies and that the school did not owe any additional payments.

Gottfried, the current coach at Cal State Northridge, was fired three years before his N.C. State contract was set to expire at the end of the 2019-20 season. After his firing, Gottfried was implicated in the federal NCAA corruption trial. N.C. State was hit with an NCAA Notice of Allegations in July 2019, with allegations against Gottfried, former assistant coach Orlando Early and former player Dennis Smith Jr.

Related content: NC State Hit with Notice of Allegations

In March 2019, attorney Elliot Abrams told The News and Observer that N.C. State owed Gottfried about $520,000, but the university was trying to use the allegations as a way to get out of paying Gottfried.

“Since 2018, N.C. State has been attempting to wriggle out of making the payments required by the contract that N.C. State’s lawyers drafted and that N.C. State signed and agreed to,” Abrams told The News and Observer last year, noting he hoped it wouldn’t come to legal action. “Coach Gottfried has complied with every obligation under the agreement he and N.C. State signed and it is our hope that N.C. State will ultimately live up to its word as well.”

Related content: N.C. State Latest to Seek Restitution in Adidas Case

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